HISTORY OF THE ROUTE 66 SHOW
The roots of country music and the tradition-based songs of today were explored every Tuesday night on ROUTE 66 until October 9, 2007. Former KXCI Community-Radio host Michael Hyatt featured the best in classic and contemporary alternatives from 8 to 10 pm.
Michael's first show aired at 10 pm on Friday, October 9, 1987. At that time ROUTE 66 was a rhythm & blues and 1950s rock & roll show that Michael inherited from Mike Vinyl. Then in May of 1990, after a political shakeup at KXCI, Michael began hosting Country Crossroads on Saturday afternoon. Four months later the name of the show changed to Honky-tonk Hideaway and then on July 31, 1993 back to ROUTE 66. Since January 1999 Michael was the middle-man in KXCI's "Twangin' Tuesday" lineup.
During the program, Michael played the widest variety of country music heard just about anywhere. The rich history of country music and its finest recordings were shared each week. Styles of country music presented included old-time mountain songs (AKA hillbilly), blues, western swing, country boogie, honky-tonk, rockabilly, outlaw and Americana. Themes included truckin' and train songs (Michael produces the Classic Railroad Songs series for Rounder Records). Each week an artist was featured with a biography and a set of music. Sometimes these profiles included phone interviews with artists like Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Ray Benson or Merle Haggard. The recordings of artists featured included Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Don Rich, of Buck Owens and The Buckaroos fame. Contemporary country artists with a rootsy, non-pop, Americana sound also got airplay on ROUTE 66.
Michael enjoyed winding around the country music map, from Jimmie Rodgers, the father of country music, to the "Mountain Soul" of Patty Loveless, from the rockin' side of Patsy Cline to Texas swing of Asleep at the Wheel. He also loved to fill listeners' requests during the show.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2007 Michael celebrated his 20th anniversary as a radio host on KXCI. At 10p.m. he retired exactly 20 fun years to the minute after beginning his first program on Friday, October 9, 1987.
In 2009 Michael produced a collection of songs about food by Arizona songwriters to benefit Tucson's Community Food Bank. The FOOD IS GOOD...for body & soul CD is available from Varga Garland. Contact her at vgarland "at" communityfoodbank "dot" com.